Where in the World is _why ?


Looking for _why …

Filed under: Uncategorized — sl33p3r @ 1:15 pm

As already reported numerous time, _why has disappeared from the internet (see for example this).

Amongst the several questions that arose, one was related to the guy behind _why. Seems like nobody knows _why‘s real name (or at least nobody disclosed it 😉 ). I’m going to try to summarize the findings of various people (including me) regarding one of the possible real identity of our beloved _why.


I worked with _why on hobix and on French translation of the Poignant Guide. _why has been very gentle and friendly, and during this period I uncovered the blog of his beloved. As I complimented _why on this blog (hosted at hobix.com at this time), he asked me to not disclose it as he does really want to stay unknown from others …

I do agree with _why‘s choice regarding privacy … however, as he disappeared so brutally, I really would be sure that the guy, himself, is OK. This is the very reason I’m participating to this detective work.

What the community found

First of all, disclosure of the most probable identity so far. _why is supposed to be named Jonathan Gillette. Here are the various evidence that led the community to this conclusion:

  • Jonathan Gillette posted to the ruby-talk mailing list using an account named why (Who is Why The Lucky Stiff)
  • Jonathan Gillette posted to the ruby-talk mailing list alternating between the why account and a jonathan account (ruby-talk thread)
  • _why and Jonathan have been working on the same open-source project at the very same moment (javuh commit logs)
  • Jonathan Gillette (with Kylie Gillette) appears in some music stuff (Starving But Happy)
  • Looking at the text file in the above link, we can see that Jonathan is a computer programmer, and his wife Kylie is author of one blog: http://misstrudy.hobix.com. This is the very blog I complimented _why on.
  • They are said to also belong to another music group : “The Child Who Was a Keyhole”.
  • The CD of this formation is very … hummm .. familiar for those who know the art of _why: CD
  • “The Child Who Was a Keyhole” guitar player/singer looks also like _why: The Child Who Was a Keyhole

So all in all, for me, _why is Jonathan Gillette (no, not this one ). Let’s hope we’ll have news from him …

why, my friend, should you read this, please leave us a message, a link or something along these lines, just to say that you are OK.


Blog at WordPress.com.